Source: Guelph Public Library
Military Medal with Bar.
Summary of Service for Sergeant Vincent Bowen (Military Medal and Bar). Reg. No. 53998
|September 2, 1892||Born||Attestation papers indicate “Strouport”, Worcester, England.|
|1909||Emigrates to Canada||Emigrates to Canada with his family. At some point he claims on his attestation papers to have served 4 years with the 30th Rifles and a further 2 years with the Worcester Territorials.|
|October 26, 1914||Enlists||Enlists at Guelph, Ontario. He lists his trade as a carpet weaver and is single. He notes is prior military service in England and lists his next-of-kin as William Bowen. He assigned to “B” Company.
His reference to his service to the “30th Rifles” is actually the 30th Wellington Regiment.
|December 11, 1914||Anti-Typhoid Inoculation|
|December 16, 1914||Vaccinations|
|December 23, 1914||Anti-Typhoid Inoculation|
|May 1915||Assigns Pay||Assigns pay to his wife, Hilda Bowen, 38 Duke Street, Guelph of $20.00 per month. There is a|
|July 6, 1916||Signs Will||Private Bowen bequeaths his entire estate to his wife, Hilda Bowen of 38 Duke Street, Guelph, Ontario. The will is witnessed by an Arthur Riley[i] and Captain G.H. Emery.[ii]|
|April 18, 1915||Leaves Canada||Sails from Halifax, Nova Scotia aboard the R.M.S. Grampian.|
|April 29, 1915||Arrives England||Arrives with the 18th Battalion at Avonmouth and is based at Shornecliffe for training.|
|May 6, 1915||Forfeits 1 Day Pay||Absent without leave.|
|September 14, 1915||Leaves for the Front||Battalion leaves for the Continent and arrives in Belgium.|
|June 11, 1916||Granted Leave||Granted 8 days leave.|
|August 8 – 12, 1916||No. 6 Canadian Field Ambulance||Pyrexia of Unknown Origin|
|August 12 – October 5, 1916||No. 2 Divisional Rest Station||Pyrexia of Unknown Origin|
|October 5 – 8, 1916||No. 4 Canadian Field Ambulance||S.W.R. Forefinger|
|April 27, 1917||No. 13 General Hospital, Boulogne, France||Develops trench too and assigned to hospital for treatment.|
|April 28, 1917||Transports to England||Transported to England aboard the H.S. St. Andrew.|
|April 29 to June 19, 1917||Evington Military Hospital||Inflammation of the Connective Tissue, Foot|
|June 19 – August 29, 1917||Ramsgate||Inflammation of the Connective Tissue, Foot|
|August 29 – September 14, 1917||M.G. No. 4, Epsom.||Inflammation of the Connective Tissue, Foot. The condition heals after spending 139 days in hospital.|
|September 14, 1917||Discharged to Canadian Convalescent Hospital, West Cote Park||Posted from Western Ontario Regimental Depot and Stuck of Strength to the 4th Reserve Battalion at Bramshott.|
|November 25, 1917||2nd Canadian Infantry Base Depot, Etaples France||Arrives from 4th Canadian Reserve Battalion to 2nd C.I.B.D.|
|December 2, 1917||Arrives 18th Battalion||In the field. Acheville, France.|
|January 3, 1918||4th Canadian Field Ambulance to 5th Canadian Field Ambulance||Ulcer, left foot.|
|January 9, 1918||Transferred to 12th Canadian Field Ambulance.|
|January 23, 1918||No. Canadian Casualty Clearing Station and then transferred to No. 1 Canadian General Hospital.||I.C.T. foot, slight.|
|February 22, 1918||No. 6 Convalescent Depot|
|February 23, 1918||No. 13 Convalescent Depot|
|March 6, 1918||2nd Canadian Infantry Base Depot, Etaples France||Discharged from No. 13 Convalescent Depot|
|April 1, 1918||Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp||Despatched to C.C.R.C. on way to rejoining Battalion.|
|April 4, 1918||Rejoined Unit||In the field. Rejoins Battalion in Neuville-St.-Vaast Sector. Battalion heavily engaged in patrol work and shelled by Germans.|
|August 8 and 9, 1918||Promoted||In an unusual case Bowen was promoted to Sergeant the day before he was “promoted” to Corporal. The service records show a promotion on August 8 where he was appointed Acting Sergeant with pay as Sgt. W.P. Munnings, reg. no. 767069 was wounded.
Then, on the next day, Bowen is promoted to Corporal as Corporal R. Redhead, reg. no. 53385 is invalided to England.
One explanation is that the Battalion needed an acting Sergeant but in order to promote Bowen they had to promote him to a Corporal so he could then be promoted to an acting sergeant. The dates in the service records reflect two dates when they should reflect that this occurred on one day. The letter dated August 24, 1918 conforming these promotions contained the notification of these promotion in Part II Order, No. 86, 13/9/18.
|August 26, 1918||Killed in Action||Circumstances of Death records: “Killed in Action” During operations in front of ARRAS, this soldier was hit in the stomach and instantly killed, by an enemy rifle bullet.
The beginning of the Last 100 Days offensive. This day was a very bad day for the Battalion as it records that 30 other ranks where killed in action along with a further 120 o.r.s wounded.
|March 13, 1919||Awarded the Military Medal[iii]||The London Gazette. Publication date: 21 January 1919. Supplement: 31142. Page 1238.|
|March 29, 1919||Awarded Bar to Military Medal||Per. London Gazette no. 31257|
|July 27, 1920||War Service Gratuity Issued||Received cheque no. G1895813 in the Amount of $100.00 issued to Mrs. Hilda Bowen, widow, residing at 10 Ontario Street, Guelph, Ontario.|
[i] Most likely Private Arthur Riley, reg. no. 53962. Usually on this form the soldier includes his regimental number and unit but for some reason Private Riley gives an address in Manchester, from which he was born.
[ii] Note that the will in the service file is a facsimile of the original will, which is not in the file.
[iii] A note on citations. Some early Military Medals came with citations but as the war progressed and the awarding of Military Medals increased this award did not include a citation. The medals that would require citations are the “Victoria Cross (V.C.), the Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.), the Military Cross (M.C.) and the Distinguished Conduct Medal (D.C.M.).”